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16 October 2009

USPTO director applauds "positive" fraud U-turn

David Kappos, director of the USPTO, yesterday outlined how his staff had already started applying recently clarified guidance on fraud.

16 October 2009

BEER 1 marks are not descriptive, says TTAB

In Anheuser-Busch Incorporated v Holt, in a precedential opinion, the TTAB has dismissed Anheuser-Busch Incorporated's opposition against the registration of the marks BEER 1, ONE BEER BEER 1 and BEER 1 MMVII for beer. Among other things, the TTAB held that the marks were neither merely descriptive nor deceptively misdescriptive.

12 October 2009

Apple loses right to use MIGHTY MOUSE mark

The USPTO has granted rights in the trademark MIGHTY MOUSE to a specialist supplier of computer hardware called Man & Machine. The decision puts an end to Man & Machine's lengthy dispute with Apple over the latter's use of the name for its mice.

09 October 2009

Bratz dolls maker spoils prior rights holder's infringement claims

In Art Attacks Ink LLC v MGA Entertainment Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld the district court’s judgment as a matter of law in favour of MGA Entertainment Inc, the maker of the Bratz dolls. Among other things, the Ninth Circuit held that the plaintiff, which produces various goods based on its 'spoiled brats' characters, had not met the threshold requirement of showing that its trade dress had acquired secondary meaning.

02 October 2009

Two Guccis enjoined from using their names as trademarks

In Gucci America Inc v Gucci, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York has enjoined members of the Gucci family from using their names in connection with the sale of various products. The court entered a very restrictive injunction, ordered an accounting of profits against all the defendants and punitive damages against one of the defendants. The decision turned heavily on evidence of the defendants’ bad faith.

01 October 2009

Pepsi fails to derail launch of Coca-Cola's reformulated sports drink

In the latest battle between soft-drink giants Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Pepsi’s Stokely-Van Camp division - which is behind the Gatorade product - has unsuccessfully sought to disrupt the launch of Coca-Cola's Powerade ION4 sports drink. The court ruled that Pepsi had established neither a likelihood of success on the merits, nor a probability that it would be irreparably harmed if Coca-Cola were not preliminarily enjoined.

29 September 2009

Leading US judge outlines challenges for the trademark industry

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit plays a key role in the development of US IP law. In an exclusive interview with WTR, the court's chief judge, Paul Michel, suggests that it could do even more. He argues that the time may have come to consider centralizing all IP cases at the Federal Circuit and also recommends a number of other crucial reforms to the US trademark protection system.

23 September 2009

Hallmark demands rehearing in Paris Hilton publicity rights dispute

Hallmark Inc has petitioned the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for an en banc rehearing in a case that sets the greeting card company's First Amendment rights against Paris Hilton's right to her own image.

22 September 2009

Side-by-side comparison is not correct way to judge similarity, says court

In Xtreme Lashes LLC v Xtended Beauty Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to defendant Xtended Beauty Inc on plaintiff Xtreme Lashes LLC's infringement claims. The Fifth Circuit also held that the district court had erred in ordering the cancellation of Xtreme’s EXTEND YOUR BEAUTY mark.

16 September 2009

Service of opposition to applicant's business address acceptable, says TTAB

In Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprungli AG v Flores, in a precedential opinion, the TTAB has considered whether Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprungli AG's failure to serve its notice of opposition on the applicant at his 'correspondence address of record', as set forth in Trademark Rule 2.101, nullified the opposition.

16 September 2009

REDSKINS Case goes to US Supreme Court

The long-running dispute over the use of the name and mark REDSKINS by a National Football League franchise based in Washington DC has reached the Supreme Court.

09 September 2009

Federal Circuit resoundingly rejects Medinol fraud standard

After six years of uncertainty as to the susceptibility of trademark registrations to a claim of fraud, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reaffirmed unequivocally its pre-Medinol fraud standard, holding that “a trademark [registration] is obtained fraudulently under the Lanham Act only if the applicant or registrant knowingly makes a false, material representation with the intent to deceive the [USPTO]”.

07 September 2009

Order recalling potentially infringing goods requires extra burden of proof

In Marlyn Nutraceuticals Inc v Mucos Pharma GmbH & Co, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the issuance of a preliminary injunction that halted the defendant’s sale of a dietary supplement, but vacated the district court's decision insofar as it required product recall and restitution. The Ninth Circuit found that the record did not establish that the infringing product caused a substantial risk of danger to the public.

03 September 2009

Trademark 'squatter' enjoined from using JAPONAIS mark

In Tuccillo v Geisha NYC LLC, the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York has granted the defendant and counterclaimant a preliminary injunction enjoining the plaintiff from making any further use of the trademark JAPONAIS in New York, Chicago or Las Vegas pending the final outcome of the action.

02 September 2009

LVMH victorious in $32.4 million award against web host

The LVMH group has won $32.4 million in damages in its lawsuit filed in 2007 against internet hosting companies Akanoc Solutions and Managed Solutions Group.